Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

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CIRES Special Seminar: Brent Minchew

CIRES Special Seminar: Brent Minchew

Oceans and ice: How ocean tides influence inland ice flow

by Brent Minchew - NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, British Antarctic Survey

Abstract: The vertical motion of ocean tides modulates horizontal ice flow up to nearly 100 kilometers inland in some Antarctic ice streams. The amplitudes of modulation can exceed 20% of the secular flow speed and have been shown to occur at the beat frequency of the two semi-diurnal tidal constituents. This phenomenon provides a useful case where the response of an ice stream to a well-constrained forcing function is observable. Traditionally such observations have been made with individual GPS sites, but here I describe the methodology and results for a full 3D, time-dependent inversion from remotely sensed data. This first-of-its-kind observational dataset provides ice-stream-scale measurements of 3D secular and time-varying surface velocity on Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica. We inferred these velocity fields from 9 months of continuous synthetic aperture radar observations collected from multiple satellite viewing geometries with the 4-satellite COSMO-SkyMed constellation. The resulting velocity fields elucidate the spatiotemporal characteristics of the response of ice flow to ocean tidal forcing, providing insights into the mechanisms driving tidal-timescale flow variability, ice rheology, and the mechanics of the ice stream bed.

Bio: Brent Minchew is a glaciologist specializing in applications of remote sensing and glacier mechanics. He recently received his PhD in geophysics from Caltech where he mainly studied the mechanics of deformable glacier beds. Brent is en route to complete his postdoctoral fellowship at the British Antarctica Survey in Cambridge, UK, where he will study spatiotemporal variability in ice stream flow in West Antarctica by constraining numerical ice flow models with remote sensing and other geophysical observations. His other research interests include applications of existing remote sensing instruments to hazard mitigation and the spatial distribution and environmental controls on landslides. Before pursuing a PhD at Caltech, Brent completed B.S. and M.S. degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. 


CIRES Auditorium


Refreshments provided

Panel Discussion: AAAS

Panel Discussion: AAAS

Panel Discussion: AAAS

Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering" Workshop Student Competition

To learn more about the AAAS CASE Workshop please attend a panel discussion with previous winners of the competition. 


Thomas Steele Reynolds
Steele Reynolds graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado. His thesis project is concerned with the use of genetic engineering to develop a platform E. coli strain for use in commercial bioproduction. He also serves as co-director of the graduate student policy group, FOSEP.

Christopher Schaefbauer
Chris Schaefbauer is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research interests include health informatics, human-centered computing, health behavior change, electronic health records, and educational technology. He was a National Science Foundation GK12 Fellow and served as the University of Colorado Student Government President of Student Affairs.

Nicholas Valcourt
Nick Valcourt is a pursuing a Master’s degree in Civil Systems Engineering at the University of Colorado-Boulder as well as a certificate at the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities (MCEDC). He earned a B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the George Washington University in 2007 and worked as a water & wastewater consultant on domestic and international infrastructure & planning projects.

Abby Benson (Moderator)
Abby Benson currently serves as Associate Vice President of Government Relations at the University of Colorado. In this role, Abby ensures the flow of information between the university and relevant stakeholders in Colorado and Washington, DC, and advocates for increased support of CU priorities, including research and higher education funding and policies, at both the state and federal levels.

Competition Details
The CIRES Center for Science and Technology Policy Research is hosting a competition to send two CU Boulder students to Washington, DC to attend the AAAS "Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering" workshop. The competition is open to any full-time CU Boulder graduate student or well-qualified graduating senior in one of the following fields: Biological, physical, or earth sciences; Computational sciences and mathematics; Engineering disciplines; Medical and health sciences and Social and behavioral sciences. Please submit a one-page statement explaining the importance of the workshop to your career development to by February 19, 2016. The evaluation committee will select two students from those who apply. The competition is being organized by the Graduate Certificate Program in Science and Technology Policy and is supported by the CU Graduate School and the Center for STEM Learning. 


CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274


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